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What’s in a Name (or a Tagline)?


A couple of years ago, when the Reproductive Health Access Project celebrated its 5th anniversary, we created a special tagline to mark the occasion:  making choices real.  I loved it.  I still love it.   It telegraphs the fact that, even though abortion and contraception are legal, many women still face tremendous barriers in accessing this care.  The “choice” isn’t yet real for everyone one.

But, the word “choice” has fallen out of favor.  Experts suggest using “decision” instead.  Choices are seen as too flip.  Decisions are thoughtful.   But, “making decisions real” just doesn’t work.  It doesn’t convey our mission and work – integrating contraception and abortion into primary care–in the same way.

So, we took into account the experts’ advice and set upon coming up with a few energizing words that would motivate our supporters, convey our passion for our work, and explain our complex mission.

We identified the key points about ourselves we wanted to convey.  We pinpointed our target audience. We researched taglines of sister organizations.  We collected a list of taglines we love for inspiration.    We discussed, argued, and grappled with using the word “abortion.”  We vowed not to use jargon or be too clinical.   We brainstormed, brainstormed and brainstormed.  What did we come up with?  Our five tagline finalists were:

Contraception and abortion access for all
Changing the Culture.  Caring for women.
Inspire.  Educate.  Advocate.
Breaking down barriers.
Because it shouldn’t be so difficult.

In October we presented our shortlist to our staff and board, hoping finally to pick one.   Here were some of the comments.  See if you can guess which tagline each comment applies to.

it has a ‘to the barricades’ feel….it could apply to any organization….it’s not exactly what we do….it’s too negative….what about men, don’t you care about men?

In the end, we didn’t come to agreement on any of the proposed tag lines and instead settled on this:  integrating contraception and abortion into primary care.  It’s not pithy or catchy, but it gets across exactly what we do and includes the word abortion.  I can live with that.

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